BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Understanding Self Portraits

Photography Question 
Aldo Tristan

Self Portrait (Without Smoke and Mirrors)

I want to take a self portrait without using a mirror. What other ways is there? Do you know of a a book that shows you how to do it? Or maybe you can just tell me how to.

Thanks for your time,

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12/4/2001 3:43:31 PM

doug Nelson   How long are your arms? Just kidding. Many cameras, even inexpensive ones, have a self-timer. Set the camera on a very steady object or tripod, focus on where you will be, trip the shutter, with the self-timer set, and go around to the front of the camera. You might prefer to do this with no one else around, as it presents quite a little spectacle.

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12/5/2001 8:34:18 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Don't kid about it too much Doug. If you have a fisheye or a super-wide in the 18-20mm range, it can be held stretched out in front of you. The results look a little goofy (big nose, small ears), but for a humorous shot . . .

More seriously, if the camera has a threaded socket on the shutter button for a "cable release" you can get a longer one that works using air. It has a plunger at one end for tripping the shutter and screws into the shutter button, just like a cable release. Attached to it is a thin hollow tube that can be unreeled to about 20-30 feet. At the other end is a bulb that is squeezed to trip the shutter. Squeezing the bulb pushes air through the tube and actuates the plunger. Typical cost of these is about $20 or so, complete with small reel for rolling up the tube (so it doesn't become a tangled mess in the camera bag).

If you cannot hide the bulb in your hand, or conceal the tube very well, you can use your foot (don't stomp on it, lightly push on it using the ball of your foot).

Some newer, totally electronic cameras also have an IR remote, about half the size of the key fob for activating auto door locks. If your camera is totally electronic, see if this is an accessory for it. You might need to poke around in the camera accessory brochure that has all the little odds and ends listed.

-- John

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12/10/2001 1:47:14 AM

Leo Enriquez   You might want to check my pic on selfportraits (Not a happy hour)!..I went for a wide angle and time shutter!...Your margin of error diminishes.

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7/16/2002 2:43:36 AM

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